Aimee Mann - F-ing Smilers
@#%&! Smilers is an excellent album. Well worth the purchase. Go out and buy two.
If you don’t know much about her work, you should purchase either Bachelor No2 or the Magnolia soundtrack. If you already have this/these, then I suggest her new album, @#%&! Smilers. It has a couple songs I dislike, but they’re both short (“Stranger into Starman” and “Ballentines”). It also has a bunch of songs I find simply wonderful (“Looking for Nothing,” “It’s Over,” “Great Beyond,” and “Columbus Ave.”). And what’s left is solid (see below).
She’s quirky. Not really a pop performer, but not really a rock act either. She exists in that place that often gets overlooked as too pop for some, too much of a downer for others. It’s too bad, for if this were a perfect world, she’d be as big as U2 (which I find terribly over-rated, but that’s a conversation for another day).
Columbus Ave. Trust me, though this is a nice version, the album version is a low-key stunner.
Actually, the whole album is a low-key stunner. In many ways Aimee Mann’s whole career could be summarized as “low-key stunner.” She doesn’t have that “grab you from the store speakers at Best Buy” sound. What she has is an ability with words, and a perceptiveness that sneaks up on you if you quiet down. Try listening to F-ing Smilers while driving. Or running. Walking. Sitting.